Word for the World devotionals from Dr. Randy White

The Pitiful Potential of Pessimism

Dr. Randy White

"Then David said, ‘I will show kindness to Hanun the son of Nahash, because his father showed kindness to me.’ So David sent messengers to console him concerning his father. And David’s servants came into the land of the sons of Ammon to Hanun to console him. But the princes of the sons of Ammon said to Hanun, ‘Do you think that David is honoring your father, in that he has sent comforters to you? Have not his servants come to you to search and to overthrow and to spy out the land?’” (1 Chronicles 19:2-3, NASB95)

King David, blessed of God and secure in his position, was genuinely kind to Hanun, King of Ammon.  His kindness was to repay acts of kindness Hanun’s father had previously paid to David.  Hanun’s advisors, however, had a pessimistic outlook that destroyed the potential of the relationship.  They were quick to assume the worst about David and his actions.

Pessimists often fail to see the true heart and intent of genuinely kind and helpful people.  Perhaps because they have been “burned” before, or because of hidden hurts or fanciful fears, pessimists are prone to bite the hand that feeds them.  The lack of trust with Hanun’s advisors led to war that caused them to run in defeat.

Are you challenged with acceptance of kindhearted intent?  Are you quick to judge the motive and slow to trust the heart?  Are you always looking for the land-mine in every kind deed?  Do you “look the gift horse in the mouth?”  If so, you probably have saved yourself from the pain and humiliation that comes from those who are less than noble.  But, at the same time, your loss of aid and comfort from those who are not enemies, those who have a pure heart and humble intentions, outweighs the gain of your pessimism.

Ask the Spirit of God to give you a trusting heart and a discerning spirit.  Ask Him to give you a tender disposition and a positive profile.  God will be honored!

In His Grace,
Dr. Randy White

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